U.S. Mexico Trade Boom: Fuels Effort to Build Better Border Crossings

September 6, 2013

The border crossings between the United States and Mexico are very important for trade and security. With a stronger and more efficient border, products of Mexico manufacturing will (and already are) become integral to trade with the United States. Increased efficiency will help the border patrols of both nations concentrate on stemming the tide of all criminal enterprise in these areas, while also removing the burden off the backs of hard working public servants.

San Ysidro, the crossing at the cities of San Diego and Tijuana, is one of the busiest between the two countries. The tourism traffic alone can keep the border patrols very occupied but they also have to contend with the commercial traffic at Otay Mesa. With the growing reliance on manufacturing in Mexico, there is an obvious demand of changing how the traffic is handled. Adding more x-ray technology is one proposed solution, as well as an expansion of programs that prequalify companies to pass through “fast lanes” with less scrutiny.

While Mexico is America’s third importer of goods (and Mexico is the second largest market for American goods), many other countries are utilizing Mexico for manufacturing. This means that sometimes there is a need to use American and Mexican seaports. Due to the proximity of the border for ports and manufacturing areas, there can be a higher demand for inspections in various locations leading up to the border that could be a solution to the longer waits. Reevaluating these inspection locations could potentially allow another trucking lane, to bypass and alleviate the heavily filtered traffic. This would become an easier way for border agents and companies to be able to set tighter deadlines for goods. It would also mean factories would continue to grow and bring even more jobs to both countries.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) continues to fuel growth in Mexico manufacturing, especially from American companies. More recently, however, there has been a shifting of jobs to Mexico from countries such as China due to labor rate inflation and transportation costs.

San Diego and Tijuana have long been important to each other. The modernizing of how the border is handled will help maintain this relationship and even help it grow.